The Aam Aadmi Party today released a video,which allegedly shows the two African women, who have accused Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti of harassing and assaulting them, exchanging drugs. According to AAP, the video has been released as proof to show that what the party and its leader did was right. All the videos, documents, claiming to show support for Bharti's 'raid' are listed on the AAP website here.
Shockingly some of the videos claim to show that some Africans were caught naked in front of the police and another has the disturbing title of 'condoms and liquid spilled in private." Bharti is clearly visible in two of the videos that AAP has put up, according to Indian Express. More shockingly the party has gone on to reveal the names of the four victims and their addresses, adds the IE report.
Where the videos themselves are concerned, they don't really help the AAP cause. For instance the one titled 'Condoms and Liquid spilled in Private' is focused on a car, where the only thing can one see is a bottle of water on the car floor and some condoms on the dashboard. The only question one has on watching the video is when did carrying condoms become illegal in India.
Another video titled 'Naked in front of police' shows an African man who is standing naked on the road. The next video shows him running naked on the road, and ends with the man getting into some argument with a police man. More importantly, this is during the day time and its not clear whether this is Khirki or some other part of Delhi. Nor is it known why this man was standing naked and to connect it to the Khirki raid extension seems just bizarre. It appears that the video has been added for shock value and nothing else.
There's another video titled 'One girl caught.' The footage in this one shows one African woman running in the middle of the night, she's caught by the police and then made to walk with them. Bizarrely the audio stops midway and one wonders why this was done. It's not clear whether this is from the minister's so called raid or from a separate incident. The video is unclear towards the end and again doesn't show whether woman was really involved in any wrong-doing.
The one titled 'Trying to hide drugs' is perhaps the cherry on the cake of senseless videos. It just shows a car with people inside who the police is trying to get out. You can also hear some television media crew talking in the background. The video doesn't really reveal anything to boost AAP claims and you can't help but wonder where the drugs are.
AAP however remains convinced that it has acted correctly and that the videos are ample proof to justify its actions. According to IBN-Live AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey, "There were rumours that the AAP volunteers caught those foreign women whereas they were caught by the police. Video itself is the proof as it shows exchange of white powder inside the car."
As far as the two Ugandan women are concerned they are standing by their statement. One of them has identified Somanth Bharti as the one who led the mob that attacked them in their home. The women allege that they were subject to racist remarks by Bharti and his men and were also beaten up.
Earlier on Friday there was high drama at the Delhi Commission for Women as Bharti failed to appear and sent his lawyers who got into a heated exchange with the office bearers. DCW chief Barkha Singh said, "Bharti's lawyer misbehaved and shouted at me. I am going to complain to the Lieutenant Governor."
The AAP Khirki story clearly reeks of racism, a charge that AAP continues to deny. It has now tried to bolster its claims by releasing sensationalist videos to prove that the women were guilty. In doing so they have completely violated the rights and privacy of these women.
Somnath Bharti's midnight raid in Khirki extension has not found many takers, with both the press and a large section of the middle class condemning his vigilante behaviour.
AAP however seems to have decided that they will ignore the swing of public opinion against them, and continue justifying what was clearly a brazen misuse of power by Bharti.
How this will work out for them in the long run remains to be seen.